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Spaying and neutering your cats – some common facts

Updated on October 31, 2007

Some cat owners fail to spay or neuter for a number of reasons. Most adamant are the ones who claim that is cruel to do so to cats. Some fail to spay or neuter because of the cost or simply think it is not a necessary procedure for their cats. However all these reasons in my humble opinion do not hold water when you consider that millions of cats are being put to sleep on daily basis because of the overpopulation. Perfectly healthy and young cats are being put to sleep daily because there are not enough homes for them. So consider that when saying whatever to spaying or neutering. The benefits of spaying and neutering for cats are many.

If you neuter a male cat it will prevent a number of behavioral problems as well as a number of health issues that will be prevented with neutering some of which include: no risk of testicular cancer, lowered risk of contracting FIV or FeLV, lowered risk of mammary cancer. You cat will also be less likely to try and escape, the urge to participate in fights with other cats will be gone, he will be less likely to spray with urine and will have no injuries from fighting.

Neutering is a fairly simple procedure and it does not last long. The testicles are removed under anesthesia and more often then not the cuts are so small they do not even require stitches. In general vet agree that male cats should be neutered around 6 months of age.

If you spay a female cat you will not only prevent a possibility of unwanted litter, transmitted illness and complications that might occur during labor but also she will have lowered risks of mammary cancer, no risk of uterine or ovarian cancer and eliminates the chances of contracting pyometritis. It is generally recommended that female cats are spayed around 6 months and sometimes even before their first heat cycle. It is generally not recommended to spay your cat during her heat cycle although it can be done (its due to high bloody supply to uterus which requires extra attention during surgery).

When the cat is spayed the process is called ovariohysterectomy. The cat is put under anesthesia and the cut is made to remove the uterus and the ovaries. The cut is then closed with non-absorbable stitches and sutures or sub-cuticular stitches. The sutures are placed below the skin and they dissolve over time into the cat's body, while non-absorbable stitches have to be removed after 10 days. In general female cats also heal relatively quickly after this surgery but do give your cat extra care and attention during this period. Although she might be tempted to jump and also lick the stitches keep an eye out she does not hurt herself. Also she should pee and poop on the same day after the surgery so keep an eye out for regular bowel and urinary movements.

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